Shiite population in Congo Kinshasa growing every year: Massampo Al-Ameli

AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): In an interview with ABNA, the representative of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly in Congo Kinshasa explained the situation of Shiites in the country.

AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): In an interview with ABNA, the representative of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly in Congo Kinshasa explained the situation of Shiites in the country.

On Wednesday morning, October 27, 2021, Hojat al-Islam Ali Hassan Masampo Al-Ameli, the representative of the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly in Congo Kinshasa, met with Ayatollah Reza Ramazani, the Secretary-General, in the Assembly office on Qom.

After the meeting, he visited the newsroom of ABNA News Agency.

Regarding the situation of Shiites in the Kinshasa Congo, an interview was conducted with him, who is of Lebanese descent.

ABNA: What is the population of Muslims in Congo Kinshasa and what percentage of them are Shiites?

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Congo has a population of about 120 million, of which 10%, about 12 million, are Muslims, and more than 500,000 of which are Shiites. Five years ago, the number of Shiites was less than ten thousand, but by the grace of God, the number of Shiites in the Congo is increasing every year. Sunnis in the Congo are moderate and do not have extremist ideas, and even love Shiites. They cooperate with us in various fields, and there is a good ground for propagating the Shiite. In terms of culture and acceptance, Congolese people easily accept the Shiite religion. Because they do not have evil intentions, but they have righteous intentions. They may even accept the Shiite religion easily and enthusiastically. While this is not the case in some African countries, the infrastructure is good for spreading the Shiite religion in the Congo.

ABNA: How does Wahhabism work in the Kinshasa Congo?

The Wahhabis were present in the Congo from 2012 to 2018, and with Saudi funding, they built mosques and some cultural sites. But their activities have weakened since Saudi funding stopped.

The economy and politics in the Congo are close to the Shiites, and the Shiites are strong in the political and economic spheres. They need us and they cannot be directly hostile to us. They are working against us, but with fear.

ABNA: How do you interact with Sunnis in Congo Kinshasa?

We have a very good interaction with Sunnis. Sheikh Abdullah Bangala, the Sunni Mufti of the Congo, is a very moderate man, and when Wahhabism began to work in the Congo, he was a supporter of the Shiites. The Sunni Mufti of the Congo is much closer to the Shiites than the Wahhabis.

ABAN: How many Shiite Islamic mosques and centers are there in Congo Kinshasa?

There are about 100-200 mosques and Shiite centers in the Congo. They hold Shiite and their other ceremonies in the same place where they pray. Also in the month of Ramadan, prayers and religious occasions related to Shiites are held in these centers.

ABNA: How do Lebanese Shiites operate in the economic spheres of Congo and the city of Kishnasa?

About 70 percent of the Congolese economy is dominated by Lebanese, Pakistani and Indian Shiites. They are active in all areas, including industry, trade, diamond trade, mines, and so on. Alhamdulillah, the Shiites are economically powerful in the city of Kishnasa. In the politics, there are Shiite representatives in parliament, and a minister in the government. Alhamdulillah, the situation is good. The Lebanese also have large mosques and husseiniyahs, and they hold ceremonies on all religious occasions.

ABNA: How do Lebanese help Congolese Shiites?

The Lebanese have a lot of cooperation with the Congolese Shiites. Even some Lebanese businessmen living in other countries donate money monthly to help Congolese Shiite centers.

ABNA: How do you see the future of Shiites in Congo and neighboring countries?

In Africa, the situation of the countries is different. In general, Congolese people accept righteous thoughts, have a sound nature, and have no enmity or hatred towards others. When someone explains the right thing, they accept it quickly. There is infrastructure in this country, but it requires more activity. Because Congo is a big country, and its area is more than Iran. In terms of geographical location, it has mountains, forests, and rivers. Congolese nature, like Brazil, is tropical and requires special conditions, and these conditions also require many facilities that are not currently available. But Alhamdulillah we are making progress.

ABNA: Are there Iranian businessmen in the Congo?

No, there are no Iranian businessmen in the Congo. Economic activity in Congo is good, but it requires patience. At first, some things seem difficult, but when it starts, things get easier.

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